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Saturday, January 24, 2015

Fear Not, Little Flock…

By:   Msgr. R.G. Bandas
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Fear Not, Little Flock…

Today we are in the midst of doctrinal and moral errors so great that even the anathemas of Trent are beginning to pale in insignificance. Hardly a dogma or a moral principle is not being undermined or perverted: Sacred Scripture reduced to myths, Christ downgraded to a mere man, the Church labeled as a medieval outmoded institution. Do we desert the Church? Or do we stay, watch and pray!

(Editor’s Note:  Msgr. Bandas was a member of two commissions during the Second Vatican Council, one on dogma and the other on seminaries. He attended every session of the Second Vatican Council, and he died on June 26, 1969. The founding editor of The Remnant, Walter L. Matt, a close friend of Msgr. Bandas, used to say that Vatican II brought on the early death of Msgr. Bandas—a brilliant, holy priest who died of a broken heart over the Council.  Msgr. Bandas himself, upon his return from Vatican II, predicted that, before all this was over, “the blood of faithful Catholics would flow in the sanctuaries.”  May the following words of the late, great Msgr. Bandas remain with us always. The article is reprinted from The Remnant, Feb. 12, 1968. MJM)

Almost a year ago our Holy Father proclaimed the Year of Faith. Towards the end of that year we join him now in a special way and pray with him in the words of the Collect of the Mass for Holy Pontiffs: “O God, you have saved Your Church from all threat of the powers of hell, by establishing her upon the foundation of the apostolic rock, grant that she may remain unswervingly in the way of truth and so be strengthened in continual security.”


May this beautiful liturgical prayer, so full of confidence and hope, strengthen us in our religious convictions and establish the Church in renewed stability and security!

Today, as you know, we are buffeted by controversy, doubt and confusion on every side, and again we cry: “Lord, save us, we are perishing!” But as we lift up our eyes we see the figure of the radiant Savior walking to us over the angry waves and reassuring us: “Fear not, little flock, for God has given you a kingdom!”

As we regain our calm and composure we hear again the words which He spoke centuries ago: “Thou are Rock, and upon this rock I will build my Church and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it” (Mtt 16;18). I did not say: the gates of hell shall not prevail against it for a while; no, the gifts of God are absolute and “without repentance” (Rom. 11,29)…”The gates of hell shall never prevail against it.”

“Go ye into the whole world and preach the Gospel to every creature. He that believeth not shall be condemned” (Mark 16;16). I did not say, “Go to some parts and preach the Gospel to some creatures, and then your work shall disappear. No: “Go into the whole world and preach the gospel to every creature” (of all times). “Going therefore teach ye all nations” (Mtt. 28: 20). I did not say: after you have taught a few nations, your work will be destroyed and come to an end. No, I said: “Going therefore, teach ye all nations, teaching them to observe all things whatever I have commanded you.”

“Behold, I am with you all days even to the consummation of the world” (Mtt. 28:20). I did not say I shall be with you for a while and then abandon you. No: I shall be with you all days, even to the consummation of the world.”

“Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass.” I did not say: My words and work will come to an end long before the end of the world.

Our Lord had reason to give this assurance to His disciples and followers, for, in the fullness of His knowledge, He saw that days would come when the faith of His followers would be put to a severe test: “There shall arise false Christs and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch as to deceive (if possible) even the elect. Behold, I have told it to you beforehand. If therefore they shall say to you: Behold he is in the wilderness, go ye not out; behold he is in the inner rooms, believe it not.” (Mtt. 24: 26).

Towards the end of his life St. Paul, too, became more and more preoccupied with false teachers among the followers of Christ. Writing to Timothy, one of the earliest Catholic bishops, he says: “There shall be a time, when they will not endure sound doctrine, but according to their own desires, they will heap to themselves teachers, having itching ears, and will indeed turn their hearing away from truth: (II Tim. 4:3-4). And again: “Know you this that there shall come dangerous times. Men shall be lovers of themselves, haughty, proud, incontinent, stubborn, puffed up, and lovers of pleasure more than of God. These you must avoid.” (II Tim. 2:1-4) But then remembering the Lord’s promise he exclaims with a trust that was characteristic of his noble soul: “I know whom I have believed”. “I have fought a good fight. I have kept the faith. There is laid up for me a crown of justice” (Tim. 4: 7-8).

History is a commentary of, a confirmation of, these prophetic words. Restricting ourselves to modern times, do we need to recall the impious and heretical teachings of Martin Luther? But just as waves break into thousands of fragments when they strike a mighty rock, so also the false teachings of this arch-heretic were dispersed when they struck the mighty rock of the infallible Council of Trent, a gathering of the most learned and saintly men that the world has ever seen.

When the sensual king of England, Henry VIII, wished to nullify the indissolubility of marriage, the Pope was adamant and preferred to lose the whole of England to the Church rather than approve this attack on the sanctity of marriage.

The saintly and humble St. Pius X became firm as the Petrine rock when he was confronted with the synthesis of all errors and heresies, Modernism. Italian Fascism and Hitler’s racism and totalitarianism are now a matter of mere history because of the immovable fortitude of Pope Pius XI.

And today we are in the midst of doctrinal and moral errors so great that even the anathemas of Trent are beginning to pale in insignificance. Hardly a dogma or a moral principle is not being undermined or perverted: Sacred Scripture reduced to myths, Christ downgraded to a mere man, the Church labeled as a medieval outmoded institution, the Eucharist deprived of its traditional meaning, fornication, birth control, and homosexuality covered in the highest places with an aura of respectability, recommendations for a married clergy and worldly-minded Religious, the constant claim that love (a blind emotion) will take care of every situation in life, the abrogation of fasting and abstinence – these are only a few of the currents which keep Catholics in a continual state of agitation and make them cry out: “Lord save us, we are perishing!”

And across the centuries there again come the warning words of the Blessed Savior: “As in the days of Noe, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, even till that day in which Noe entered the ark, and they knew not till the flood came and took them all away, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be.” (Mtt. 24:37-39).

At this point an unforgettable scene comes before our eyes: Christ had just finished a discourse on the Eucharist. Some of His own disciples began to complain, saying, “This saying is hard.” And they left Him. Looking sadly after them, and then turning to those who remained, He asked: “Will you also go away? And Simon Peter answered Him: Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68-69).

We too shall join Peter, the first Pope and exclaim: “Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.”

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Last modified on Saturday, January 24, 2015